Italy go in to their final group game on Monday evening, knowing that victory is their only chance of qualifying for the last eight of the competition. However, if Spain versus Croatia is a 2-2 or higher scoring draw, the Italians will be out regardless of their own result.
Republic of Ireland became the first side to be eliminated from the competition following their 4-0 defeat to Spain on Thursday, having also lost their opener against Croatia on match day one. Giovanni Trapottoni’s men are massive outsiders at 12.0 (11/1) with Bet Fred to win this game, while Italy are odds on at around 1.29 (2/7) across the board. The draw is 6.0 (5/1) with Stan James.
Antonio Di Natale, who scored in his sides 1-1 draw with holder Spain on match day one looks set to start on Monday, as Mario Balotelli looks unlikely to shake off a knee injury he picked up in training. The Udinese striker is 5.5 (9/2) to get the first goal in Poznan whilst Andrea Pirlo, who scored his tenth international goal last time out, is a 12.0 (11/1) shout with Bet 365 to get the goal scoring underway.
The last time these two sides met, Republic of Ireland famously won in a friendly in Liege just over a year ago. Keith Andrews and Simon Cox scored either side of half time to give Trapottoni a famous win against his home country.
They were also drawn in the same qualification group for the 2010 World Cup, with both the home and away games finishing all square, whilst it was Irish who were victorious when the met in 1994 World Cup group stages.
It is over twenty years since Italy won this particular battle, so you might be tempted to back the Irish to go out on a high, with Bet Victor offering a very generous price of 29.0 (28/1) for a 1-0 Republic of Ireland win. You can also get the same price from Stan James for Damien Duff, who is set to win his 100th cap, to open the scoring.
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